December 23, 2015
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From lights and switches to people and cars, SmartThings aims at communicating with everyday devices through a smartphone. With the availability of the SmartThings API, developers can add similar functionality with third party applications to create a more automated world. Although SmartThings strongly believes in the power of smart and mobile devices, it believes the inherent intelligence of smart devices will remain limited. Accordingly, SmartThings exists to transfer the “intelligence” of such devices to the application layer, and away from the physical device itself.
Even though Alaska Airlines was one of the first airlines to offer an iPhone application, allowing travelers to check-in and use their phone as mobile boarding pass, early efforts were essentially just "screen-scraped" from the companies website, providing a very poor user experience, not really delivering on the process of the mobile web. Since you're a ProgrammableWeb reader, you can probably guess what the company needed. After all, mobile has fueled API growth.
In a perfect example of how APIs can enhance an application to make it more useful and productive, Facebook announced it is integrating OpenTable in its mobile app. If you are a Facebook user, you can now book reservations on your mobile phone via a restaurant’s Facebook page, without leaving to go to another application.